Does anybody read these?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Arrrgggh... Pirates!

I wish these were the cool kind in the Caribbean (or that I was at Shipwreck's Landing with a limin' coconut), but they're not. They're the assholes that steal music on the Internet.

OK, so you see where my opinion lies. I wrote this for an online discussion board I'm on and it was too good to not put here. (And besides, it'll get y'all off my back for a few days and I won't have to write about what I really need to write about.)

I'm a writer. People have stolen my shit before. Luckily, it's not usually shit that anyone would pay for like a really cool song. But people have stolen my work shit before, and it does cost money to have lawyers send letters and do damage control.

Anyhow, here's what I wrote there. After you read it, feel free to weigh in with a comment, either for or against... I know I have songwriters who read here, someone who sells media for a living; surely someone has an opinion, and maybe we can get a spirited discussion going!

I live in Nashville. I'm not a songwriter, but I have many friends who are. While you think that you're sticking it to some suit in some office in LA or Madonna, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks or someone else who has more money than God, you're not.

When people illegally (yes, it's illegal) download music, they are stealing from folks just like you and me who happen to write songs or work as studio musicians. Tim McGraw or Dave Matthews might not miss the 9 cents or whatever it is they make off each song, but my friend Glen sure does. He has a family to feed, a house and car to pay for, and he makes money by playing on CDs and writing songs. He only makes a few cents per CD, but it adds up -- both when people are buying music and when people are stealing it.

How freaking hard is it to use iTunes when you want one song? It's not. They're 99 cents there. I know this because I buy all of Glen's songs there in my meager efforts to make up for all you assholes who steal so you can stick it to the man. Would you walk into Target and take a Bob Seger CD off the shelf and walk out? Hell no, you wouldn't. So instead of doing that, you're a weanie who steals from Bob Seger in the comfort of your own home. While I don't agree with the RIAA's tactics and I think they need to work a little harder to make their products more with the times and what consumers want than take Grannies to court for Britney Spears songs they probably didn't download, I think that much like Target would call the cops on your ass if you stuffed a copy of "Live Bullet" in your pants, the RIAA should probably do something to try to stop you.

I buy songs on iTunes. I buy CDs on iTunes. It's a lot easier than downloading viruses on Limewire or whatever it is that the RIAA hasn't shut down yet. Anyone who doesn't do it is just lazy and/or cheap. You know what happens when I don't have the money to buy a new CD I really want? Just like back in 1994 when I got my first CD player, I just don't buy it until I have the money and listen to the song on the radio.

Why? Because I don't steal. It's that simple. I'm not going to put a CD in my purse at the store and I'm not going to download CDs from the Internet without paying for them. I'm not a goody two-shoes or anything, I just personally know the people who hurt when folks STEAL from them. I wish you personally knew them all too.

As for DVDs, I rent them from It's $12 a month and well worth it. If I want to keep watching a DVD, I go buy it. If you're too lazy for that, most cable companies broadcast movies right into your TV. Of course, that also costs money.

This issue just gets me riled up, and I'm sure I've pissed a lot of people off. You don't even have to leave your house to buy CDs or rent movies. You just have to spend a little money. If you're too cheap to do that or can't afford it, you need to re-work your entertainment budget. Sorry, that's just how it should be.

Or maybe these aren't the only things you steal, in which case none of this matters to you anyhow. If they are the only things you steal, rethink your opinions on the matter. You're breaking the law, and you really are hurting a lot of people who depend on album and movie sales to survive. You spending $10 for a CD could be the difference between a struggling songwriter getting to eat or living in his car...

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The cable guy screwed up the date, so there's no cable yet. I'm borrowing a neighbor's Internet connection to get online right now. (Shhh...)

It's quiet, except for the rain hitting the roof. I woke up exhausted. There are boxes everywhere.

After moving and packing pretty much for two days straight, I am just resting in bed right now. I thought I might get to the boxes, but maybe not. Tonight after work I'm supposed to go to Carol's to get my stuff out of the kitchen and borrow her cable to watch Brothers and Sisters.

I don't know what I would've done without her yesterday. All my moving help bailed, and I'd have been screwed if she hadn't helped. And Jane too. She's great.

I tried to run the dishwasher and flooded the kitchen. I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm sure it'll all work itself out eventually.

It's nice to have my own space, but I hope I don't get lonely. It's weird to go from a house that constantly had something going on, or at least there was a dog snoring somewhere, to a house that's silent. I don't do silence very well. It'll be better once there's TV to watch. Hopefully tomorrow.

The dogs seem to really miss me already. That makes me sad. Carol might also have to move because she can't afford the house. That house does have a lot of good memories. I will miss it. I just think this will work out better, as long as I don't go nuts from the silence.

I might change my schedule back at Toyland so I'm not home so much. Or find a new job since that one's so far away. We'll test the commute out today. It's not like the old days where I was always out with my friends and I was never home. My friends seem to have moved on. Now it's just me.

Maybe if Jane's OK with it, I will bring a cat back with me from home when I'm there. Maybe.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Since I've had no less than a dozen text messages, phone calls and e-mails inquiring about my health and safety, I figured I'd post here so that you all knew that I was OK. The storms were bad and many here did not fare nearly as well, but it somehow missed us. Based on the folks it hit before and after us, I'm guessing it was just picking up a little more steam.

I was scared to death and didn't sleep much last night. But I woke up to find my car in the driveway and my house intact, so I guess I can't complain.

Thanks for your concern. If you can spare some prayers for those who lost their lives and/or homes and their families, I know everyone would appreciate it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

From the 'pod files

So, I was out on my evening walk and I was listening to my iPod. As I was trekking through the streets of Nashville, I heard the song "I Use What I Got" by Jason Aldean.

I thought it was appropriate, because I know there were people who didn't think I'd make it in Nashville. And, it just fits my mood right now.

I give all I have to give, often to my detriment. If that's not enough, I don't know what to tell you.

Nobody ever thought I'd make it in this town
They all said i should leave my truck, pack, and turn right back around
They said I didn't have what it takes
I needed money and a pretty face
But I just look at them and say...

I use what I got
Take what I get
Until I ain't got nothin' left
Then I give it some more
Keep on climbing up that mountain
Keep truckin along, work up a sweat
Pass every no, after no, after no, till i get a yes
I don't worry about what i've done
I use what I got, yeah

I still got big dreams and a strong heart
I got a lot of real good friends who helped me get this far
I still got a lot of miles to go
It's a winding, uphill road
And I'll get there the only way i know

I use what i got
Take what I get
Until I ain't got nothin left
Then I give it some more
Keep on climbin' up that mountain
Keep truckin' along, work up a sweat
Pass every no, after no, after no, till I get a yes
I don't worry about what I'm not
I use what I got, yeah

Keep on rollin' along, doin' my best
Past every no after no after no til i get a yes
I don't worry about what i'm not
No, no, I don't worry about what I'm not
I use what i got, yeah

Is it really...

... a huge stretch to think that perhaps someone might want to date me? Or maybe have a little sex with me?

I used to have a friend Shirley, who lovingly described me as "healthy, but not humongous." (You had to know Shirley to know that she really did say it with love.)

I'm not ever going to be a size two. And as much as I'm my own worst critic, I'm not disgusting. I have a lot of things about me that people find quite nice.

I'm working on my weight. I've already lost 12 pounds, and I'm pretty damn proud of myself. I have been eating healthy, and I'm trying to work out everyday.

I'm trying to work on my self-esteem too. But it's hard when you suspect that your friends don't even think that you're attractive enough for someone to be interested in you. But you know what, I'm doing just fine, thanks.

Working in Toyland, I see people less attractive and/or larger than me everyday who either have a baby or are pregnant. That means they got to have sex. And I figure if people who are uglier and fatter than me have sex, then really I shouldn't worry so much about people seeing me naked.

Because I'm pretty sure if they didn't want to see me naked, they wouldn't ask. And it's up to me to decide whether or not I want to show them.

I'm just so fucking damaged. You all know that. It's taken me a long time to get where I am right now. I don't need anyone else to pile on. It gets so old not believing someone could love me because of all the things others have said and I have thought. I can't even imagine what it must be like to try to love me with all this baggage. I'm trying really hard to just be what I am and not question it. It helps to find out the one person that I never really thought loved me really does love me. He loves me a lot. He just doesn't want to sleep with me. (But still, there are boys who do! Honest.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ramblin' fever...

I've been in a funk lately. I've been stressed out at work, although I'm pretty caught up on my to-do list, and I'm very excited about it.

I have a lot going on. I'm moving in a couple of weeks. I thought I had bought a new bed, but I was informed tonight that probably isn't going to happen. Oh well, I'll live. It just distresses me that my new mattress is getting ruined because I'm using it on a futon frame.

I still need to find someone with a truck to help me move. I have someone I could ask, but I'm a little afraid to. We're not exactly what I'd call friends, and I'm guessing that he probably would rather not hear from me ever again. Might be true; might be my self-esteem. I'm not sure I care.

Speaking of friends who'd rather not ever hear from me again, have you ever realized that the people that you thought were your friends and could count on for anything probably didn't care about as much as you thought? It's hard enough when it's one person, but it really sucks when it's just about everyone. To know there are dinners and parties that you're not invited to, that you're just not on their radar screen anymore.

And it's kind of scary to think that if something did happen and you really needed a friend that there'd be no one to take your call. It hurts really bad. I can't even explain how much it sucks.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I guess I can try to take them off my radar screen too. They probably won't even notice. Or better yet, they'll be glad to get rid of me without telling me to "fuck off." Of course, that's what they're doing anyway every single time they make plans and then make sure that I somehow find out I've been excluded.

I've realized there is no point in actually being a good friend and being there for your friends no matter what, because you're not ever going to find a person who does that back for you. Not that you expect anything in return when you give like that, but at the same time, it really hurts that you'd drop everything for someone and they'd shit on you time and time again.

I'm really hurting. And people don't talk to me anymore. I have no idea where I'm supposed to find new friends, and I hate being alone.

So, I don't know when the funk will end. I have a few ideas, but I don't really want to talk about those either.

My diet is really going well. I made a really awesome taco salad tonight and last night. It was very yummy and filling, and I'm not sure it had many calories at all. I've also still got some light rum cake left, which has been one of my favorite finds from this whole diet thing.

I have no idea who I'm going to vote for on Tuesday. None at all. For the first time ever, I'm debating a little with not voting. I was for Al Gore, who didn't run. Then I was for John Edwards, who couldn't win. Hillary's kind of a bitch; but Obama doesn't have the experience to do anything. America's a fucking mess.

I watched "Sicko," that Michael Moore movie, last night. It made me want to marry a Canadian guy to get good health care. At first I was all excited about Hillary because of her single-payer, universal plan. Not as good as Canada's, but it would do. But then I found out that the plan of 1994 is just a pipe dream. You see, the insurance and pharmaceutical companies (for-profit entities) make the rules in the United States, and Hillary's in their pocket now. But I saw her on TV and she says she still supports affordable health care for all. Affordable is a little different than free, like it is in every other civilized country, but it's better than nothing.

Seriously, if you haven't seen the movie, go do it. But be prepared to not have warm, fuzzy feelings about America.

As a side note, what's so wrong with being a socialist? Just wondering...

So, I'm investigating Hillary's plan. If it looks good, I will support her and then pray to the infant baby Jesus that the Republicans don't stop her this time.

I do think Barack is going to make my favorite political dream boat Patrick Kennedy his running mate, but I can't vote for him just because of that. Really, is anyone surprised that Hillary and Bill attempted to steamroll someone to get what they want? At least they do it because they love America. And Obama hasn't exactly been nice to Hillary. I'd give him $50 if he'd just call her Senator Clinton, just once.

I guess I have two more days to figure it out. I should've gone and voted early for Edwards before he dropped out, but it was raining that day.

Song of the day, "I'm Alive" from Willie Nelson's new Moment of Forever CD. I'd heard about this song a while ago (back when I was in love with its yellow-haired co-writer), but I didn't know where it would end up. It's as beautiful and haunting as I thought it would be. Definitely worth the 99 cents on iTunes, even though I think we've all given up on him using his songwriting riches to buy me baubles.